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The Earn It Act

In the midst of all the drama currently surrounding our world in regards to the coronavirus, it is very overwhelming to turn on the news and almost impossible to get through to any news that doesn’t correspond to the current healthcare crisis. And although the virus is a terrible thing, this news overload is by design, because while Americans are watching the sad photos of the latest deaths, Congress is getting ready to push one of the biggest enemies to our privacy in the history of the USA, something called The Earn It Act.

What is the Earn It Act?

The Earn it Act is a cleverly disguised patsy correction of a formerly passed Internet regulation known as section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 was originally passed in the early 1990’s in order to protect up and coming internet companies from being sued for what people say on their platforms. For example, if you say something which is untrue about a celebrity on a site like Twitter, the celebrity can come after and sue you for defamation, however they cannot sue Twitter. Same goes for when someone uses one of these platforms to distribute images of child porn, internet companies are required to report these instances but cannot be sued. So now, in the year 2020, people are angry, thinking these large tech Mongols like Facebook and Twitter have outgrown their “britches” and should be held responsible for their actions especially in cases of child porn and child abuse. Sounds great in theory right?

Well here’s the thing, the Department of Justice already has that power to prosecute these companies. In fact, if a company such as Facebook or Twitter is found to have instances of unreported child pornography they can be sued by the victim as well as other affected parties. But under Section 2258A of the Communications Decency Act, as long as Twitter or Facebook made an effort to report the crime, they cannot be held accountable. So, wait, if that’s already a thing, and the Department of Justice isn’t acting on it, what is the Earn It Act really doing?


This is where it gets crazy, the Earn It Act contains many provisions that would end the age of internet security as we know it, there are so many violations it’s just not feasible to fit it into one blog post, however, I encourage you to look into the full Act if you are so inclined and have the spare time. But the main thing the Earn It Act would do is make end to end encryption in messaging illegal. Yes, illegal. This would mean apps like Facebook messaging, WhatsApp, iCloud email, and many many more sites would no longer offer end to end encryption messaging.

What Does This Mean?

Wait what? Yes, you read that right, if the Earn It Act is passed, your messages would now be easily read by the platform employees and law enforcement no matter what platform you’re on. You’ll never be able to send a truly private message again. Now I know what some of you are thinking, well if child porn is sent in a Facebook message it should be reported, correct? As a matter of fact, it already is, under Section 2258A. So why is Congress pushing so hard for the Earn It Act? Mainly because, unlike phones which are set up to be easily wire tap-able when the cops need some information, online platforms are currently exempt, this act would make it so that if a law enforcement official had suspicion, and wanted to run surveillance on you, he would be able to do so easily with a warrant and without your knowledge. Some of you are probably reading this and wondering what the big deal is, maybe you’re all for the end of personal privacy, and that’s fine, but here’s what lawmakers don’t tell you, while law abiding companies will immediately decrypt their messaging platforms when the act passes, dark web providers will not. That means the same black-market encrypted messaging services that pedophiles and drug dealers already use will still be there and still be usable. And any users currently using Facebook for their child porn activities will simply migrate to a black-market encryption provider. All that has been sacrificed is the privacy of the general population which isn’t criminals. And while people think this act will target the criminals out there, it’s really just targeting the people angry about the crimes occurring in the first place.

And here’s the problem, the general population really believes this act is going to make the internet a better place. Why? Because they think of all the horrible, mean, disgusting posts they’ve seen and they want to blame the platforms they are posted on. But people forget one thing, those posts were created by people, and it is people that make the internet a horrible place. And this Act isn’t getting rid of the bad people, nor is it going to harm Big Tech like they think it will. Sur, Twitter and Facebook will be “punished” as the general population believes and desires, but the decrypting of their messaging services will be a minor blip on their radar screen that costs them almost nothing and barely affects them. Really, the Earn It Act only affects the law-abiding users like you and me.


What Can I Do?

Well the number one thing you can do is contact your congress members. Now it is 2020, so I highly suggest you write an email, send a text, or make a phone call, but you can also write a letter if you trust the post office in your city to get it there in time. Call the number listed on your congressman’s website. If his or her office is in your city, pay a visit, make sure you make it clear that you are against the Earn It Act and the loss it means for Americans in regards to their privacy.

Also, tell your friends, as many people have no idea this act is being drafted behind the scenes, they’re simply too worried about coronavirus to notice. After you tell them about it, help them find the information to call and email your (or their) congressman as well.

Big government | Bitcoin payment | Bitcoin privacy | Crisis | Government intrusion | Government surveillance | Spyware

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